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Mandu -

Mandu Mahal Mandu

Mandu is a ruined city, located in Dhar district of State of Madhya Pradesh in Indian. Mandu is also known by the name of Mandavgarh, Shadiabad (City of Joy). It is about 98km. away from Indore and at an elevation of 633 meters. Nearest Railway station for Mandu is Ratlam (124km.).

Mandu was originally the capital of Parmara Rajputs rulers since 10th century till 14th century. However, the 1401 invasion of Delhi by the Mongols came as a blessing and Malwa seized independence under its Afghan governor. Then began an era of prosperity and fortune that lasted right through the Mughal invasion until the Marathas captured Mandu in 1732.

Mandu is mainly known for the love story of Sultan Baz Bahadur and Rani Roopmati. Once out hunting , Baz Bahadur chanced upon a shepherdess frolicking and singing with her friends. Smitten by both her enchanting beauty and her mellifluous voice, he begged Roopmati to accompany him to his capital. Roopmati agreed to go to Mandu on the condition that she would live in a palace within sight of her beloved and venerated river, Narmada. Thus was built the Rewa Kund at Mandu. Nowadays, their family members' are living in Indore. On knowing about Roopmati’s beauty and sweet voice, Mughals decided to invade Mandu and capture both Baz Bahadur and Roopmati. Mandu was easily defeated and when Mughal forces marched towards fort, Roopmati poisoned herself to avoid capture as she know the result of capture. Baz Bahadur fled to Chittorgarh (In Rajasthan) and ultimately he spend rest of his life in Court of Delhi by entertaining Moughals rulers through singing.

During its time of prosperity in Mandu, nobody was poor in the city. Any poor permitted to stay in the city was donated a brick and a gold coin each by the residents of the city so as to bring him / her at par with others. The live example is "Dai Ka Mahal" which was built by a poor old woman on joining the city. Mandu is also famous for its special kind of tamarind known as Mandu ki Imli, the fruit looks like a papaya. The second famous fruit of the Mandu is "Khirani", a yellow coloured fruit also known as "Mandu ka Mewa".

How to reach Mandu -
By Air travel: The nearest Airport at Indore is 98km away.
By Train: Convenient Railheads are Indore (100 Km), Mhow (92 Km) & Ratlam(124 Km)
By Roads: Via Indore it is the ideal route to mandu & regular Bus services connect mandu with Dhar(35 Kms), Indore, Ratlam, Ujjain(154 Kms) & Bhopal (285 Kms via Indore).

Places of See in Mandu Sightseeing -
Places to watch in Mandu are Darwazas (gateways), Jahaz Mahal (Ship Palace), Hindola Mahal, Hoshang Shah’s Tomb, Rewa Kund, Roopmati Pavallion, Caves & Temples etc. Rainy season enhances the beauty of Mandu. Places to see: Mandu a place of Love & tribute got enormous beauty accumulated & few places that one can see during the trip are like:

Baobab TreeJami Masjid : Of the fully developed phase of Indo-Islamic architecture, Jami masjid is the best example. It is the grandest & loftiest of all the existing building at Mandu. Inspired by the great Mosque of Damascus, Syria & the construction commenced by Hoshang Shah & took 3 generations to complete. This grand mosque stands on a huge plinth about 4.6m high above the ground level with a huge dome porch protruding in the center, the background dominated by similar imposing domes with the intervening space filled up by innumerable domes.

Hoshang Shah Tomb : Constructed in 1440 in Mandu Bazaar, India’s first marble building is the most refined example of Afghan architecture. The entrance to this tomb is through a porch. Its unique features are the magnificently proportioned dome, marble lattice work of remarkable delicacy & porticoed courts & towers of mark the four corners of the rectangle. It is said that Emperor Shah jahan sent four of his great architects to study the design of & draw inspiration from the tomb.Among them ustad Hamid was also associated with the construction of the Taj mahal.

Jahaz Mahal : The late 15th century Jahaz Mahal (ship palace) reflects the spirit of romantic beauty & joyous hilarity so characteristics of the palace life of the Muslim rulers of India. This 120 m long & 15 m wide palace built between the two artificial lakes, Munj Talao & Kapur Talao is an elegant two storied palace. Its shape & Kiosks give it the sight of a stately ship.the Palace consist of three large halls with a beautiful bath at the northern end. Coloured tiles & stones are used for decorative effect.

Hindola Mahal : (Swinging Palace) belonging belonging to Ghiyas-ud-din’s reign derives the name from its sloping sidewalls. The plan of the building is ‘T’ shaped with a main hall & a transverse projection at the north which is said to have been built to enable the royal ladies to be conveyed upstairs by elephant, popularly called as Hathi-Chadhao. Superb & innovative techniques are also evident in its ornamental facade, delicate trellis work in sandstone & beautifully molded columns. To the west of the Hindola Mahal & along the northern side of the Munj Talao are seen a number of unidentified structural ruins which still bears traces of their past grandeur.

TreesJal Mahal : A water palace has two halls with vaulted ceilings & seems to have been meant for the use of its rulers. Its marble walls, with medallions of blue & yellow with inscriptions, give it a certain regal air. But though it has not been dated it is likely that iw was constructed after the Khalji era. It was propbably built to offer a private escape for royal couples. ASI Museum: It has some interesting exhibits found in Mandu. Most of them are Hindu sculptures of the 11th & 12th century but there is also a large statue of Jaina Tirthankar. About 10% of the exhibits are devoted to Islamic Callography.

Madrasa Or Ashrafi Mahal : Firstly it was planned as a college attached to the great mosque that it faces & was, like the Jami Masjid, built around a huge courtyard surrounded by arcades giving access to small cells for the students. It was planned by Hoshang Shah & completed by Mahmud Khalji. Shortly after it was completed, however, Mahmud Khalji had a change of Heart. He filled up the courtyard to provide a platform for his tomb in the centre of a grand mausoleum which would have rivalled the great mosque. In addition, he raised a seven storey tower to commemorate his victory in a battle against tha Rana Of Mewar.

Darya Khan’s Group of Monuments : These are a little off the road, to the left. All that we know of Darya Khan is that he was an officer in the court of Sultan Mahnud II who ruled from 1519 to 1526. The monuments have been spaced around a large tank now called the Somvati Kund. Sagar Talao Group: Here too the monuments are near a tank in this case tha Sagar Talao, though they are seperated from it by a road. And here too the mosque has been constructed out of material taken from hindu structures. Consequently this large mosque has many feature associated with hindu archietecture particularly in its carved pillars.

Dai ka Mahal : some archietects believe that both these mausoleums could once have been mansions for the wet-nurse & her sister(Dai ki choti behen). Theer are traces of a formal Mughal garden nearby & the remains of an attractive mosque. The strong Hindu elements in the archietecture of these two monuments, such as the balustrades & the elephant-tusk brackets, along with the elongated neck of the dome, suggest that these two nurses could have come from further south, possibly Hyderabad. Palace of Baz Bahadur: the palace is constructed around 1509 is beside the Rewa Kund. It was actually built well before Baz Bahadur came to occupy Malwa.

The main portion of the palace consist of a spacious open court with halls & rooms on all sides & a beautiful cistern in its centre. On the terrace are seen two beautiful baradaris(pavilions) from where one can have enchanting view of the sorrounding countryside. On the lofty crest of the hill to the south beyond the palace of Baz Bahadur stand, Roopmati’s Pavilion.

Roopmati Pavilion : The pavilion was originally built as an army observation post but later modified & added to as palace, so that Baz Bahadur’s beloved Roopmati could have her darshan(view) of the sacred Narmada River, 305m below. From the pavilions views of the sunrise & synset are particularly excellent.

Hathi Mahal : This is a massive building with enormously broad pillars that give it its name: Elephant Place. It is crowned by a huge dome. Judging from its design it seems to have been planned as a summer house or belvedere, a place designed to catch the slightest breeze & cool its occupants in the heat of the summer. It was been converted into a mausoleum, because it holds a tomb, a detached caravanseria, & a mosque nearby. No one seems to know who was buried in the tomb. Who built this monument, or when.

Nilkantha Palace : It was constructed by the Mughal Governor for Emperor Akbar’s Hndu wife. On the scrap of one of the great ravines, reached by steps & commanding a magnificient view of the valleys below, it was used by the Mughals as a water palace with a cascade running down the middle. On its walls are seen some inscriptions of the time of Akbar recording the expeditions of the Emperor to the Deccan & the futility of earthly pomp & glory.

Echo Point: A shout from here reverberates far below & is heard clearly back.

Hotels in Mandu -
Malwa Resort: Managed by MPSTDC. Near SADA Barrier
Malwa Retreat: Managed by MPSTDC. Near Sagar Talao
Jhira Bagh Palace: 45kms from Mandu, at Dhar.

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